Adam DeSanges Mar 11, 2024 11:06:25 AM 15 min read

Emerald vs. ADP: Which One Is Better?

In today's global marketplace, managing an international workforce presents a complex challenge for businesses. The quest for efficient HR solutions has brought two major players into the spotlight: Emerald Technology and ADP. 

Both offer innovative services to streamline recruitment, onboarding, and payroll on a global scale. But which one aligns best with your company's needs? This article dives into the unique offerings of Emerald Technology and ADP, providing insights to guide your decision in choosing the right global HR partner.


Overview of Emerald Technology

Founded in 2000, Emerald Technology has quickly established itself as a pivotal partner for innovative tech companies aiming for global expansion. Its mission is to empower these companies to scale rapidly and efficiently on an international level. Specialising in services like Global Talent Acquisition, Employer of Record (EOR), Executive Search, and Contractor Conversion. Emerald tailors its offerings to the unique needs of the tech industry.

Emerald's deep integration into the tech sector's ecosystem allows it to source unparalleled talent and navigate the hurdles of global employment. The launch of Emerald's Cloud Platform significantly bolsters its service suite, providing a streamlined tool for managing a global workforce. This platform exemplifies Emerald's commitment to innovation and customer-focused support, seamlessly connecting talent acquisition with global workforce management.


Overview of ADP

Since its inception in 1949, Automatic Data Processing (ADP) has evolved into a global authority in payroll and HR solutions, serving a vast clientele. ADP's extensive service range spans payroll processing, HR management, talent management, benefits administration, and compliance solutions — catering to the diverse needs of businesses worldwide.

ADP's technological edge — highlighted by solutions like ADP Mobile Solutions and ADP DataCloud — facilitates effective workforce management across different regions. With a focus on scalability, ADP's solutions are designed to support businesses of varying sizes, from startups to multinational corporations. The company's emphasis on compliance and integration capability with a broad spectrum of business software underscores its role as a comprehensive provider of HR solutions.


Comparison of Services

When it comes to global talent acquisition, payroll, and HR solutions, both Emerald Technology and ADP bring distinct strengths to the table, tailored to different business needs and objectives.


Global talent acquisition is a forte of Emerald Technology, with a laser focus on the tech industry. Emerald excels in sourcing high-quality go-to-market talent across the globe, offering services like executive search and CVaaS. These services are designed not just to fill positions but to strategically align talent with the company's growth ambitions — especially in new and emerging markets. 

In contrast, ADP offers a broader approach to talent acquisition with its vast network and resources. While ADP's solutions are comprehensive, covering a wide range of industries, Emerald's niche focus provides deep insights and a tailored approach for tech companies.


Payroll solutions offered by ADP are among the most robust in the industry, with decades of experience backing their services. ADP's global payroll solutions are designed for businesses of all sizes, ensuring compliance, accuracy, and timeliness across different countries. The advanced analytics and integration capabilities of ADP's platforms — including ADP DataCloud — offer businesses a detailed view of their payroll operations, enhancing decision-making processes. 

Through its EOR service, Emerald also provides global payroll solutions, particularly beneficial for companies looking to expand without establishing local entities. Emerald's service is uniquely complemented by its cloud platform, which integrates payroll with other HR functions for a streamlined experience. Emerald's Employer of Record solution allows company's to payroll employees anywhere around the world through a multi-country payroll. Emerald ensures each payment is made on time and in the right currency regardless of geographically location.


HR Solutions is a stronghold of ADP, offering a suite that includes talent management, benefits administration, and compliance, supported by ADP's Mobile Solutions app for on-the-go management. This comprehensive approach ensures that businesses can manage their workforce efficiently, backed by ADP's extensive expertise and technological innovation. 

Emerald's approach to HR solutions — particularly through its EOR service — is tailored to support companies in their international expansion efforts. The focus is on simplifying the complexities of managing a global workforce, from onboarding to compliance with local employment laws.

Emerald's cloud platform stands out as a unique feature that significantly enhances its EOR service. This platform offers businesses a centralised interface to manage their international workforce, combining payroll, HR, and compliance processes in one place. The platform's user-friendly design and real-time visibility into global operations make it an invaluable tool for companies navigating the challenges of international expansion.


Emerald Technology Pricing Structure

Emerald Technology offers a transparent pricing model for its EOR solution, which is particularly appealing for tech companies looking to expand globally without the burden of establishing local entities. The pricing for our services is structured as follows:

  • Entry Package: Priced at £500 per employee per month, this package includes payroll and employment process management by Emerald Technology, onboard an unlimited number of employees, creation of compliant contracts in 150+ countries, global payments to workers, assignment of user-level permissions, onboarding of new employees, and access to all basic features on the Platform.

  • Growth Package: At £750 per month, the Growth package builds on the Entry package by adding benefits for your workforce, a dedicated onboarding specialist, and 24/7 online support.

  • Enterprise Solution: This is a custom-priced solution tailored to the specific needs of larger businesses. It includes everything in the Entry and Growth packages, plus work visa service, employee engagement, reference, and security checks.

Emerald's pricing model is designed to be scalable, catering to startups and enterprise businesses alike, with the flexibility to choose a package that best fits their global expansion and talent management needs.


ADP's Pricing Model

ADP offers a range of customisable plans that are scalable to accommodate the needs of businesses of different sizes. While specific pricing details are often tailored to the individual needs of each business, ADP's model allows companies to select from a wide array of services, including payroll, HR management, talent acquisition, and compliance solutions. The flexibility of ADP's pricing model means that businesses can start with the basics and add more services as they grow, ensuring that they only pay for what they need at each stage of their development.

ADP's approach to pricing also includes the use of technology solutions like ADP DataCloud and the ADP Mobile Solutions app, which add value through advanced analytics and convenient access to HR and payroll functions. Businesses interested in ADP's services are encouraged to request a quote directly, allowing for a customised pricing proposal based on their specific requirements.


Core Offerings and Differentiators

The distinct paths carved out by Emerald Technology and ADP are evident, each tailored to meet businesses' unique demands at different growth and operational complexity stages.

Emerald Technology: Specialised services for technology vendors

Emerald Technology shines with its specialised focus on serving technology vendors, offering bespoke solutions that cater specifically to the needs of fast-growing companies in the tech sector. This specialisation is a significant differentiator, enabling Emerald to provide targeted support for global expansion and talent management with a deep understanding of the tech industry's nuances.

  • Global talent acquisition: Emerald's worldwide prowess in sourcing elite go-to-market talent is unmatched and designed to fill vacancies and strategically align talent with the company's long-term growth ambitions.

  • EOR: Emerald's EOR solution stands out for companies looking to expand internationally without the overhead of establishing local entities. This service simplifies the management of a global workforce, ensuring compliance with local employment laws and regulations across over 150 countries.

  • Cloud platform: Emerald's cloud platform integrates seamlessly with its EOR service. This platform provides businesses with an efficient, transparent, and user-friendly interface to manage their international employment processes.

ADP: A comprehensive suite for diverse industries

In contrast, ADP's strength lies in its extensive experience and the breadth of its HR solutions, catering to a wide range of industries beyond just technology. 

  • Payroll and HR management: ADP's global payroll solutions are renowned for their accuracy, compliance, and timeliness, backed by decades of experience. ADP offers an all-in-one solution that addresses the core needs of businesses of all sizes.

  • Technological innovation: ADP's commitment to technological innovation is evident in its suite of tools, including ADP DataCloud and the ADP Mobile Solutions app. These tools provide businesses with advanced analytics and convenient access to manage their workforce.

  • Scalability: ADP's customisable plans offer scalability, allowing businesses to select services that match their current needs with the flexibility to adjust as they grow. This scalability is a cornerstone of ADP's value proposition, ensuring that businesses can rely on ADP's solutions at every stage of their development.


Emerald's Cloud Platform: A Closer Look

Emerald Technology's cloud platform is a pivotal component of our global HR solutions, particularly enhancing the EOR services we provide. This platform is designed to streamline the management of a global workforce, offering a suite of features that cater specifically to the needs of technology vendors aiming for international expansion.

Key features and benefits:

  • Centralised global employment management: The platform offers a unified system for managing payroll, HR, and compliance across multiple countries, simplifying the process of global expansion.

  • Integration capabilities: It seamlessly integrates with existing HR systems, ensuring that data flows smoothly between different tools and services, which enhances efficiency and reduces the risk of errors.

  • User experience: With a focus on simplicity and ease of use, the platform provides a clear and intuitive interface that allows businesses to manage their international workforce without the need for extensive training or technical expertise.

  • Compliance and payroll management: One of the platform's standout features is its ability to ensure compliance with local employment laws and regulations. It also manages payroll in multiple currencies, ensuring employees are paid on time and in accordance with local standards.

The cloud platform embodies Emerald's commitment to providing technology vendors with the tools they need to navigate the challenges of global expansion. 


Choosing Between Emerald and ADP

When Emerald might be the better choice:

Emerald Technology is excellent for technology companies at the cusp of global expansion, particularly those looking to hire and manage talent across different countries without the hassle of establishing local entities. Our bespoke global expansion services — coupled with the specialised support offered by the cloud platform — make Emerald an ideal partner for tech vendors aiming for rapid international growth. 

Companies seeking a partner with deep expertise in the tech sector, capable of providing tailored talent acquisition and global employment management solutions, will find Emerald's offerings particularly compelling.

Situations where ADP's solutions would be preferable:

ADP, with its extensive experience and comprehensive suite of HR solutions, is well-suited for businesses across various industries seeking a broad and integrated approach to HR and payroll management. Companies in need of a robust system that offers strong analytics, mobile support, and a wide range of HR services — from payroll processing and talent management to benefits administration and compliance — will find ADP's offerings to be more aligned with their needs. ADP's scalable solutions cater to businesses of all sizes, making it a versatile choice for those seeking to consolidate their HR processes under a single, experienced provider.



Selecting the right global HR solutions provider is crucial for businesses aiming for international expansion and efficient workforce management. Emerald Technology and ADP stand out with distinct offerings tailored to different needs. Consider your global expansion ambitions, industry specifics, and the role of technology integration in your HR strategy when evaluating these providers. Emerald is ideal for tech companies seeking specialised global expansion services, while ADP offers a broad suite of HR solutions suitable for a wider range of industries, emphasising scalability.

For businesses exploring global HR solutions — particularly those in the tech sector aiming for international growth — Emerald Technology offers bespoke services and a robust cloud platform. Learn more about how we can support your expansion goals by visiting our website and reaching out for a personalised consultation

Adam DeSanges

Part of Emerald since 2006, Adam has personally developed an Executive Search process that has been incorporated throughout the entire Emerald Technology business and has enabled our team to offer an unrivalled, collaborative service to our clients. As one of our Company Directors, he is responsible for leading, training and mentoring this methodology.

End-to-end recruitment FAQ's

What locations do Emerald search, hire and payroll in?

We offer a limitless solution. We source, onboard and payroll employees in every region worldwide (except sanctioned countries.)


Who are Emerald’s customers?

We support Pre-IPO, VC or PE backed technology start-ups. We are a trusted partner to some of the most innovative and globally recognised technology companies since 2000.


How quickly can Emerald onboard employees?

We can compliantly onboard employees on average of just 24-72 hours.